Whether you’re looking for entertainment, culture, beautiful architecture, breathtaking views, fascinating history, or a touch of mysticism, Edinburgh won’t disappoint!
It isn’t without reason that the Scottish capital is the second most visited city in the United Kingdom, right after London.
Edinburgh is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, and no traveler has come here without noticing that this city takes your breath away with its beauty from any angle you look at it.
Edinburgh sits on an extinct volcano. It is located on green hills and cliffs overlooking the sea, which only adds to its fairy-tale appearance.
This city begs you to explore it on foot, so don’t forget comfortable shoes.
Although the rains are frequent and the wind almost always blows, tourists’ desire for sightseeing is still strong.
Equip yourself with a raincoat and waterproof shoes and embark on an adventure.
You will fall in love with this city’s beautiful architecture, cobbled streets, and unusual, mystical atmosphere.
The gothic charm of Edinburgh that you know from movies, books, and photos is even more incredible live.
You’ll quickly discover that the nickname “Auld Reekie,” as the locals call Edinburgh, is very apt.
The list of places to visit in Edinburgh is very long.
The data that the Old and New Towns are on the UNESCO World Heritage List and that Edinburgh has more than 4,500 buildings under state protection speak volumes about what this city offers.
However, some of the most famous attractions are Edinburgh Castle, Arthur’s Seat, The Royal Mile, Princes Street Gardens, Calton Hill, the National Museum of Scotland, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, and St. Giles Cathedral.
Edinburgh is not only a city of culture but also entertainment.
With many clubs and pubs that stay open until the wee hours, the party in this city never seems to stop.
In addition to the famous whiskey, the national drink of the Scots, restaurants, and pubs are also known for good cuisine, including some local specialties such as haggis – a pudding made from sheep’s intestines.
Scotland’s rich and dark history has inspired numerous stories and legends.
If you enjoy fantastic folklore, don’t miss themed tours that include dark cellars, “haunted” places, hair-raising stories, and the inevitable whiskey-drinking.
If you’re a bookworm, you probably already know that Edinburgh has inspired numerous literary works.
Many great writers were also born or lived in this city, such as Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Irvine Welsh, JK Rowling, and many others.
Moreover, JK Rowling wrote most of the Harry Potter series in Edinburgh, and many places of the city inspired parts of the books. So if you’re a fan of the magical world of Harry Potter, don’t miss a walk down Victoria Street, which inspired the creation of the famous Diagon Alley.
The Climate of Edinburgh
Edinburgh has an oceanic climate with cold, wet winters and mild, cloudy summers.
Rainfall is frequent but not abundant, and the weather is windy.
The average annual temperature is 9°C (48°F).
The proximity to the sea moderates the extreme climatic conditions, and locals often say that in Edingburgh, you can experience all four seasons in one day. Of course, you shouldn’t take this literally.
However, it is not uncommon for the sun to come out after a foggy morning in Edinburgh and, during the day, to become cloudy and cold and starts to rain.
Summer in Edinburgh
Summers in Edinburgh are fresh, and you will almost never need proper summer clothes.
Average temperatures in July and August, which are the hottest months, are around 15°C (59°F), while average highs in these months are around 19°C (66°F).
Very rarely, during the hottest years, temperatures reach as high as 31°C (88°F). Average low temperatures in summer hover around 11°C (52°F).
June to August is considered the best time to visit Edinburgh.
Even this time of year, don’t set off to Edinburgh without warm clothes like jeans, hoodies, and jumpers.
Also, pack a thin jacket for the coldest parts of the day and rain gear.
August is also a favorite among tourists because of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the largest arts festival in the world when the capital of Scotland becomes a huge stage for three weeks.
Winter in Edinburgh
Winter in Edinburgh lasts from December to February.
Average winter lows are 1°C (34°F), and average highs generally do not go above 7°C (45°F). At night, the lowest temperatures drop to -9°C (17°F) and very rarely can be lower.
Due to the wind and humidity, winters in Edinburgh often seem even colder than they actually are.
Snow is rare in Edinburgh, but if it falls during your visit, you’ll be amazed as the cityscape is even more magical than usual.
Bring warm clothes, a good coat, and waterproof shoes if you’re traveling to Edinburgh during winter.
Also, pack a scarf, gloves, hat, and umbrella.
What to Pack for Edinburgh?
In Edinburgh, you’ll spend most of your time sightseeing and exploring this city that always has something new to offer.
So, when packing, think about your comfort and safety.
In addition to your main luggage, pack a comfortable daypack in which you will carry everything you need during the day, such as a raincoat, extra clothes, a camera, a water bottle, a city map, and the like.
Regarding security, bringing luggage locks for your main luggage and daypack is useful.
Like many big cities that attract tourists, Edinburgh also has a lot of pickpockets.
So that your documents, money, and cards are always safe, bring a neck wallet or money belt.
These wallets are easy to hide under clothing and discreetly keep valuables safe.
What to Wear in Edinburgh?
Edinburgh has four seasons, and the clothing you need for your trip depends mainly on the time of year you travel.
All seasons have a high probability of rain, so always bring waterproof footwear, quick-drying clothing, and a raincoat.
Bring an umbrella, but be aware that it won’t be enough in some situations.
Edinburgh is windy, and the rain often falls sideways, so sometimes an umbrella will only protect your head.
Regarding dress codes, you can wear whatever you want in most places.
However, you can’t enter some fancy restaurants and clubs in sports clothes, such as tracksuits and sneakers.
On the other hand, jeans and a smart shirt or sweater are acceptable for most going outs.
Dressing Tips for Women
Jeans are a good choice for all seasons and are easy to pair with various outfits.
However, if you get caught in a downpour in jeans, they will stick to you, and you will be freezing, so for the wettest days, choose pants made of material that dries faster.
Summers in Edinburgh are rarely too hot, meaning you won’t need a lot of summer clothes.
Bring summer dresses, tank tops, and T-shirts, but be prepared to add shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, and cardigans to your outfit.
You’ll need warmer clothes during spring and autumn, so pack thick hoodies and woolen sweaters.
Add thick tights or leggings if you plan to wear skirts or dresses.
For winter, prepare more layers of thick and warm clothes. Wool socks are a great idea to keep your feet warm.
Don’t forget a hat, scarf, and gloves.
You’ll need a jacket all year round in Edinburgh.
While a thin denim or canvas jacket will come in handy in the evenings during summer, choose thicker jackets in spring and autumn.
Pack a padded warm coat for winter.
Always choose waterproof jackets or combine them with rain gear.
Dressing Tips for Men
Comfort and adequate preparation for the weather are essential for men as well.
Layering is always a good idea.
During the hottest summer days, you’ll be comfortable in a T-shirt and shorts, but you’ll often need a light sweatshirt or sweater.
In the transition periods, wear warmer clothes, and remember to choose fabrics that dry quickly.
For winter, prepare thick sweatshirts, woolen sweaters, and warm pants.
Choose hooded jackets that protect against wind and rain for all seasons.
For winter, a padded jacket and a mandatory scarf, hat, and gloves are the best options.
Pack some more elegant garments, especially if you plan dinner at an exclusive restaurant.
Shoes for Visiting Edinburgh
Remember that Edinburgh is full of cobbled and hilly streets, so choose comfortable flat shoes for sightseeing.
Waterproof footwear is always a good idea, as it rains a lot in Edinburgh.
For colder seasons, warm waterproof shoes or boots are best.
In summer, you can choose comfortable sandals or sneakers.
However, it’s a good idea to bring a spare pair of shoes in case you get caught in a downpour.
What Else to Pack for Edinburgh?
We’ve already said that Edinburgh is full of attractions, from the most famous ones to the more hidden, less popular, but equally fascinating ones.
However long you stay, you will hardly have time to visit them all, and you’ll probably want to come back soon and see and experience what you missed the first time.
To make sure you get all the things as possible, it’s a good idea to pack a good guidebook.
Also, bring a map of the city for easier navigation.
A waterproof daypack is the best way to always have everything you need during the day.
Always have a raincoat and an umbrella in a daypack, even if the morning starts with clear skies.
Choose an umbrella that is easy to pack and provides wind protection, as a poor-quality umbrella will break quickly in the Edinburgh wind.
A reliable waterproof phone case will protect your phone from rain and shocks.
For example, it can be pretty inconvenient if your unprotected phone falls on the cobblestones.
Bring the usual cosmetics and first aid kit you carry wherever you travel.
Add insect repellent to this set. In summer, in addition to mosquitoes, midges in Edinburgh fly in swarms and bite.
You might avoid them in the city, but if you go into nature, especially near water, you’ll need insect repellent.
It’s also a good idea to bring sunscreen and sunglasses if you’re traveling in the summer.
It may not be hot in Edinburgh, but you’ll want to protect yourself when the sun shines.
Sunglasses can come in handy all year round, for mornings after the wild parties this city is known for.
To avoid buying bottled water, bring a water bottle you can always carry.
The tap water in Edinburgh is entirely safe to drink, but if you prefer filtered water, you can get a water bottle with a built-in filter.
If you’ve chosen cheaper accommodation, it is possible that some items that are taken for granted in hotels won’t be included here.
For example, a hairdryer is one of the things that your accommodation may not provide, so it’s a good idea to pack a small travel hair dryer.
Finally, to use all your technics without obstacles, bring an external charger and an adapter for sockets.
Also, bring your camera, spare batteries, and SD cards if you are a keen photographer.
Edinburgh is a very photogenic city, so you’ll probably use your camera a lot.
What Not to Bring to Edinburgh?
Heels are not suitable footwear for Edinburgh’s cobbled streets and the steep stairs you’ll encounter in many places, so feel free to leave them at home.
The same goes for other uncomfortable footwear, as you will walk a lot in Edinburgh.
Don’t wear anything of significant sentimental or material value.
For example, you shouldn’t carry expensive jewelry, technical equipment, or large amounts of cash.
What to Wear in Edinburgh in January?
January in Edinburgh is cold, with an average daily temperature of 4°C (39°F).
However, during the coldest January nights, the temperature drops to around -6°C (21°F).
Rains are frequent, unlike snow, which rarely falls here and doesn’t last long.
Winter in Edinburgh is beautiful, but you must dress appropriately.
Pack clothes that allow you to dress in layers. Fleece-lined pants, thick hoodies, and warm sweaters are good choices.
Woolen socks and thermal underwear will provide additional protection during the coldest days.
Bring a warm, padded jacket, hat, scarf, and gloves. Don’t forget a windproof umbrella and waterproof boots.
What to Wear in Edinburgh in February?
Average temperatures during February are similar to January.
Prepare warm, thick clothing for layering. A winter jacket and warm, waterproof footwear are essential.
At night, temperatures drop below zero, so choose evening combinations according to the weather.
Bring warm pajamas with long sleeves.
What to Wear in Edinburgh in March?
March is the start of spring in Edinburgh, but the weather is still primarily cold.
Average temperatures are around 6°C (43°F), while during the hottest days, at the end of the month, they reach about 15°C (59°F).
However, it gets colder in the evening, and temperatures often drop below zero at night.
Bring a variety of clothing to be prepared for all weather conditions.
If you’re lucky enough to catch a few warm days, you’ll be able to enjoy a T-shirt or lightweight hoodie during the sunny hours.
However, you’ll most of the time need thicker hoodies and warm sweaters.
Bring a warm waterproof jacket and comfortable shoes to keep your feet dry.
What to Wear in Edinburgh in April?
April is slightly warmer than March, with a daily average of around 8°C (46°F). However, during the hottest days, 17°C (63°F) can be expected.
Statistically, April is one of the drier months in Edinburgh, but rain can always surprise you, so be prepared.
Along with layering, pack a jacket that protects against wind and rain.
A scarf and hat are still handy, especially in the mornings and evenings when it gets cooler.
Don’t forget the long-sleeved pajamas.
What to Wear in Edinburgh in May?
The weather in Edinburgh is mild during May. The daily average climbs to 10°C (50°F), with highs reaching up to 22°C (72°F) on the hottest days.
However, the nights are still cold. During the coldest nights, the temperature can drop as low as -1°C (30°F).
The good news is that during May, precipitation is not frequent.
In May, you may have the opportunity to enjoy light clothing during sunny hours.
However, dress in layers as temperature swings can be significant during the day.
Even in May, a jacket with a hood that protects against wind and sudden rains is a must.
What to Wear in Edinburgh in June?
The average daily temperature during June is 13°C (55°F), but on the hottest days, it reaches 24°C (75°F).
However, evenings and mornings remain cool, and during cold days the temperature can drop to 4°C (39°F) at night.
June is rainier than the previous two months, so don’t forget a light raincoat and an umbrella.
Weather permitting, you may want to wear a T-shirt and shorts for part of the day, but be prepared to change as the day progresses.
Like in the spring, you will need hoodies, shirts, and thin sweaters in June.
The jacket you wear in June doesn’t have to be thick, but it should protect you from the rain and cold breeze.
What to Wear in Edinburgh in July?
July is the year’s warmest month, with an average of 15°C (59°F). Temperatures drop to around 11°C (52°F) at night but rise to a pleasant 19°C (66°F) in the afternoon.
On the hottest days, temperatures can reach 25°C (77°F), although higher maximums have been recorded in some hot years.
Rainfall is frequent, with around 20 rainy days per month, so don’t forget your rain gear.
Bring light clothing such as summer dresses, T-shirts, shorts, and lightweight pants, but also long sleeves, hoodies, and light sweaters.
A jacket is a must even this time of year, but choose a lightweight denim jacket or similar fabric.
What to Wear in Edinburgh in August?
In August, temperatures remain similar to July.
You can expect higher prices and more crowds as this is a popular time to visit Scotland’s capital.
Bring summer clothes, but also long sleeves. In addition, you will need a lightweight jacket early morning and late evening.
August has less rainfall than July and June, but you’ll occasionally need an umbrella or lightweight raincoat.
What to Wear in Edinburgh in September?
In September, temperatures start to drop, and autumn arrives in Edinburgh.
The daily average is 12.5°C (55°F), but early in the month, highs sometimes reach 22°C (72°F).
At the end of the month, nighttime temperatures drop to around 2°C (26°F).
Dress in layers. Sometimes pants and a T-shirt will suffice during warm hours, but during the rest of the day, you’ll need to add a hoodie or sweater.
Bring a reliable rain jacket and waterproof footwear.
What to Wear in Edinburgh in October?
The October average is 10°C (50°F), with highs on the warmest days reaching 18°C (64°F).
Nighttime temperatures often drop below freezing in October, so pack a warm jacket for an evening out and long-sleeved pajamas for sleeping.
You will have less and less opportunity for light clothing.
More often, you will need extra layers to keep warm.
October also means a lot of rain, so prepare waterproof shoes and rain gear.
What to Wear in Edinburgh in November?
November brings a real chill and daily averages of 6°C (43°F), combined with frequent rainfall and wind.
The weather looks more like winter, so match your dressing accordingly.
Bring warm clothes that you can layer. A thick sweater and woolen socks keep you warm during the coldest hours.
A good coat or padded jacket is a must this time of year. In November, you can start wearing hats, scarves, and gloves in Edinburgh.
What to Wear in Edinburgh in December?
Temperatures continue to fall during December, and the daily average is 4.5°C (40°F).
If you don’t mind the cold, Edinburgh is magical at this time of year, with Christmas decorations and the occasional snow.
Edinburgh hardly ever sees the sun during December.
Pack warm, thick clothing, waterproof shoes or boots, and a padded jacket.
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